Part 41 - 60
42. But wonderful it was what a dream I saw that very night; for when I had betaken myself to my bed, as grieved and disturbed at the news that had been written to me, it seemed to me, that a certain person stood by me, (18) and said, ”O Josephus! leave off to afflict thy soul, and put away all fear; for what now grieves thee will render thee very considerable, and in all respects most happy; for thou shalt get over not only these difficulties, but many others, with great success. However, be not cast down, but remember that thou art to fight with the Romans.” When I had seen this dream, I got up with an intention of going down to the plain. Now, when the whole multitude of the Galileans, among whom were the women and children, saw me, they threw themselves down upon their faces, and, with tears in their eyes, besought me not to leave them exposed to their enemies, nor to go away and permit their country to be injured by them. But when I did not comply, with their entreaties, they compelled me to take an oath, that I would stay with them: they also cast abundance of reproaches upon the people of Jerusalem, that they would not let their country enjoy peace.
43. When I heard this, and saw what sorrow the people were in, I was moved with compassion to them, and thought it became me to undergo the most manifest hazards for the sake of so great a multitude; so I let them know I would stay with them. And when I had given order that five thousand off them should come to me armed, and with provisions for their maintenance, I sent the rest away to their own homes; and when those five thousand were come, I took them, together with three thousand of the soldiers that were with me before, and eighty horsemen, and marched to thevillage of Chabolo, situated in the confines of Ptolimias, and there kept my forces together, pretending to get ready to fight with Placidus, who was come with two cohorts of footmen, and one troop of horsemen, and was sent thither by Cestius Gallus to burn those villages of Galilee that were near Ptolemais. Upon whose casting up a bank before the city Ptolemais, I also pitched my camp at about the distance of sixty furlongs from that village. And now we frequently brought out our forces as if we would fight, but proceeded no further than skirmishes at a distance; for when Placidus perceived that I was earnest to come to a battle, he was afraid, and avoided it. Yet did he not remove from the neighborhood of Ptolemais.
44. About this time it was that Jonathan and his fellow legates came. They were sent, as we have said already, by Simon, and Ananus the high priest. And Jonathan contrived how he might catch me by treachery; for he durst not make any attempt upon me openly. So he wrote me the following epistle: ”Jonathan and those that are with him, and are sent by the people of Jerusalem, to Josephus, send greeting. We are sent by the principal men of Jerusalem, who have heard that John of Gischala hath laid many snares for thee, to rebuke him, and to exhort him to be subject to thee hereafter. We are also desirous to consult with thee about our common concerns, and what is fit to be done. We therefore desire thee to come to us quickly, and to bring only a few men with thee; for this village will not contain a great number of soldiers.” Thus it was that they wrote, as expecting one of these two things; either that I should come without armed men, and then they should have me wholly in their power; or, if I came with a great number, they should judge me to be a public enemy. Now it was a horseman who brought the letter, a man at other times bold, and one that had served in the army under the king. It was the second hour of the night that he came, when I was feasting with my friends, and the principal of the Galileans. This man, upon my servant’s telling me that a certain horseman of the Jewish nation was come, was called in at my command, but did not so much as salute me at all, but held out a letter, and said, .This letter is sent thee by those that are come from Jerusalem; do thou write an answer to it quickly; for I am obliged to return to them very soon. Now my guests could not but wonder at the boldness of the soldier. But I desired him to sit down and sup with us; but when he refused so to do, I held the letter in my hands as I received it, and fell a talking with my guests about other matters. But a few hours afterwards, I got up, and when I had dismissed the rest to go to their beds, I bid only four of my intimate friends to stay, and ordered my servant to get some wine ready. I also opened the letter so, that nobody could perceive it; and understanding thereby presently the purport· of the writing, I sealed it up again, and appeared as if I had not yet read it, but only held it in my hands. I ordered twenty drachmae should be given the soldier for the charges of his journey; and when he took the money, and said that he thanked me for it, I perceived that he loved money, and that he was to be caught chiefly by that means; and I said to him,” If thou wilt but drink with us, thou shalt have a drachma for every glass thou drinkest.” So he gladly embraced this proposal, and drank a great deal of wine, in order to get the more money, and was so drunk, that at last he could not keep the secrets he was intrusted with, but discovered them without my putting questions to him, viz. That a treacherous design was contrived against me, and that I was doomed to die by those that sent him. When I heard this, I wrote back this answer: ”Josephus to Jonathan, and those that are with him, sendeth greeting. Upon the information that you are come in health into Galilee, I rejoice, and this especially because I can now resign the care of public affairs here into your hands, and return into my native country, which is what I have desired to do a great while; and I confess I ought not only to come to you as far as Xaloth, but farther, and this without your commands. But I desire you to excuse me, because I cannot do it now, since I watch the motions of Placidus, who hath a mind to go up into Galilee; and this I do here at Chabolo. Do you therefore, on the receipt of this epistle, come hither to me. Fare you well.”
45. When I had written thus, and given the letter to be carried by the soldier, I sent along with him thirty of the Galileans of the best characters, and gave them instructions to salute those ambassadors, but to say nothing else to them. I also gave orders to as many of those armed men, whom I esteemed most faithful to me, to go along with the others, every one with him whom he was to guard, lest some conversation might pass between those whom I sent and those who were with Jonathan. So those men went [to Jonathan]. But when Jonathan and his partners had failed in this their first attempt, they sent me another letter, the contents whereof were as follows: ”Jonathan, and those with him, to Josephus, send greeting. We require thee to come to us to the village Gabaroth, on the third day, without any armed men, that we may hear what thou hast to lay to the charge of John [of Gischala].” When they had written this letter, they saluted the Galileans whom I sent, and came to Japha, which was the largest village of all Galilee, and encompassed with very strong walls, and had a great number of inhabitants in it. There the multitude of men, with their wives and children, met them, and exclaimed loudly against them; and desired them to be gone, and not to envy them the advantage of an excellent commander. With these clamors Jonathan and his partners were greatly provoked, although they durst not show their anger openly; so they made them no answer, but went to other villages. But still the same clamors met them from all the people, who said, ”Nobody should persuade them to have any other commander besides Josephus.” So Jonathan and his partners went away from them without success, and came to Sepphoris, the greatest city of all Galilee. Now the men of that city, who inclined to the Romans in their sentiments, met them indeed, but neither praised nor reproached me and when they were gone down from Sepphoris to Asochis, the people of that place made a clamor against them, as those of Japha had done; whereupon they were able to contain themselves no longer, but ordered the armed men that were with them to beat those that made the clamor with their clubs. And when they came to Gabara, John met them with three thousand armed men; but, as I understood by their letter that they had resolved to fight against me, I arose from Chabolo, with three thousand armed men also; but left in my camp one of my fastest friends, and came to Jotapata, as desirous to be near them, the distance being no more than forty furlongs. Whence I wrote thus to them: ”If you are very desirous that I should come to you, you know there are two hundred and forty cities and villages in Galilee; I will come to any of them which you please, excepting Gaburn and Gischala; the one of which is John’s native city, and the other in confederacy and friendship with him.”
46. When Jonathan and his partners had received this letter, they wrote me no more answers, but called a council of their friends together; and taking John into their consultation, they took counsel together by what means they might attack me. John’s opinion was, that they should write to all the cities and villages that were in Galilee; for that there must be certainly one or two persons in every one of them that were at variance with me, and that they should be invited to come to oppose me as an enemy. He would also have them send this resolution of theirs to the city of Jerusalem, that its citizens, upon the knowledge of my being adjudged to be an enemy by the Galileans, might themselves I also confirm that determination. He said also, that when this was done, even those Galileans who were well affected to me, would desert me out of fear. When John had given them this counsel, what he had said was very agreeable to the rest of them. I was also made acquainted with these affairs about the third hour of the night, by the means of one Saccheus, who had belonged to them, but now deserted them and came over to me, and told me what they were about; so I perceived that no time was to be lost. Accordingly, I gave command to Jacob, an armed man of my guard, whom I esteemed faithful to me, to take two hundred men, and to guard the passages that led from Gahara to Galilee, and to seize upon the passengers, and send them to me, especially such as were caught with letters about them: I also sent Jeremias himself, one of my friends, with six hundred armed men, to the borders of Galilee, in order to watch the roads that led from this country to the city Jerusalem, and gave him charge to lay hold of such as traveled with letters about them, to keep the men in bonds upon the place, but to send me the letters.
47. When I had laid these commands upon them, I gave them orders, and bid them take their arms and bring three days’ provision with them, and be with me the next day. I also parted those that were about me into four parts, and ordained those of them that were most faithful to me to be a guard to my body. I also set over them centurions, and commanded them to take care that not a soldier which they did not know should mingle himself among them. Now, on the fifth day following, when I was at Gabaroth, I found the entire plain that was before the village full of armed men, who were come out of Galilee to assist me: many others of the multitude, also, out of the village, ran along with me. But as soon as I had taken my place, and began to speak to them, they all made an acclamation, and called me the benefactor and savior of the country. And when I had made them my acknowledgments, and thanked them [for their affection to me], I also advised them to fight with nobody, (19) nor to spoil the country; but to pitch their tents in the plain, and be content with their sustenance they had brought with them; for I told them that I had a mind to compose these troubles without shedding any blood. Now it came to pass, that on the very same day those who were sent by John with letters, fell among the guards whom I had appointed to watch the roads; so the men were themselves kept upon the place, as my orders were, but I got the letters, which were full of reproaches and lies; and I intended to fall upon these men, without saying a word of these matters to any body.
48. Now, as soon as Jonathan and his companions heard of my coming, they took all their own friends, and John with them, and retired to the house of Jesus, which indeed was a large castle, and no way unlike a citadel; so they privately laid a band of armed men therein, and shut all the other doors but one, which they kept open, and they expected that I should come out of the road to them, to salute them. And indeed they had given orders to the armed men, that when I came they should let nobody besides me come in, but should exclude others; as supposing that, by this means, they should easily get me under their power: but they were deceived in their expectation; for I perceived what snares they had laid for me. Now, as soon as I was got off my journey, I took up my lodgings over against them, and pretended to be asleep; so Jonathan and his party, thinking that I was really asleep and at rest, made haste to go down into the plain, to persuade the people that I was an ill governor. But the matter proved otherwise; for, upon their appearance, there was a cry made by the Galileans immediately, declaring their good opinion of me as their governor; and they made a clamor against Jonathan and his partners for coming to them when they had suffered no harm, and as though they would overturn their happy settlement; and desired them by all means to go back again, for that they would never be persuaded to have any other to rule over them but myself. When I heard of this, I did not fear to go down into the midst of them; I went, therefore, myself down presently to hear what Jonathan and his companions said. As soon as I appeared, there was immediately an acclamation made to me by the whole multitude, and a cry in my commendation by them, who confessed their thanks was owing to me for my good government of them.
49. When Jonathan and his companions heard this, they were in fear of their own lives, and in danger lest they should be assaulted by the Galileans on nay account; so they contrived how they might run away. But as they were not able to get off, for I desired them to stay, they looked down with concern at my words to them. I ordered, therefore, the multitude to restrain entirely their acclamations, and placed the most faithful of my armed men upon the avenues, to be a guard to us, lest John should unexpected fall upon us; and I encouraged the Galileans to take their weapons, lest they should be disturbed at their enemies, if any sudden insult should be made upon them. And then, in the first place, I put Jonathan and his partners in mind of their [former] letter, and after what manner they had written to me, and declared they were sent by the common consent to the people of Jerusalem, to make up the differences I had with John, and how they had desired me to come to them; and as I spake thus, I publicly showed that letter they had written, till they could not at all deny what they had done, the letter itself convicting them. I then said, ”O Jonathan! and you that are sent with him as his colleagues, if I were to be judged as to my behavior, compared with that of John’s, and had brought no more than two or three witnesses, (20) good men and true, it is plain you had been forced, upon the examination of their characters beforehand, to discharge the accusations: that therefore you may be informed that I have acted well in the affairs of Galilee, I think three witnesses too few to be brought by a man that hath done as he ought to do; so I gave you all these for witnesses. Inquire of them (21) how I have lived, and whether I have not behaved myself with all decency, and after a virtuous manner, among them. And I further conjure you, O Galileans! to hide no part of the truth, but to speak before these men as before judges, whether I have in any thing acted otherwise than well.”
50. While I was thus speaking, the united voices of all the people joined together, and called me their benefactor and savior, and attested to my former behavior, and exhorted me to continue so to do hereafter; and they all said, upon their oaths, that their wives had been preserved free from injuries, and that no one had ever been aggrieved by me. After this, I read to the Galileans two of those epistles which had been sent by Jonathan and his colleagues, and which those whom I had appointed to guard the road had taken, and sent to me. These were full of reproaches, and of lies, as if I had acted more like a tyrant than a governor against them, with many other things besides therein contained, which were no better indeed than impudent falsities. I also informed the multitude how I came by these letters, and that those who carried them delivered them up voluntarily; for I was not willing that my enemies should know any thing of the guards I had set, lest they should be afraid, and leave off writing hereafter.
51. When the multitude heard these things, they were greatly provoked at Jonathan, and his colleagues that were with him, and were going to attack them, and kill them; and this they had certainly done, unless I had restrained the anger of the Galileans, and said, that” I forgave Jonathan and his colleagues what was past, if they would repent, and go to their own country, and tell those who sent them the truth, as to my conduct.” When I had said this, I let them go, although I knew they would do nothing of what they had promised. But the multitude were very much enraged against them, and entreated me to give them leave to punish them for their insolence; yet did I try all methods to persuade them to spare the men; for I knew that every instance of sedition was pernicious to the public welfare. But the multitude was too angry with them to be dissuaded, and all of them went immediately to the house in which Jonathan and his colleagues abode. However, when I perceived that their rage could not be restrained, I got on horseback, and ordered the multitude to follow me to the village Sogane, which was twenty furlongs off Gabara; and by using this stratagem, I so managed myself, as not to appear to begin a civil war ,amongst them.
52. But when I was come near Sogane, I caused the multitude to make a halt, and exhorted them not to be so easily provoked to anger, and to the inflicting such punishments as could not be afterwards recalled: I also gave order, that a hundred men, who were already in years, and were principal men among them, should get themselves ready to go to the city of Jerusalem, and should .make a complaint before the people of such as raised seditions in the country. And I said to them, that” in case they be moved with what you say, you shall desire the community to write to me, and to enjoin me to continue in Galilee, and to order Jonathan and his colleagues to depart out of it.” When I had suggested these instructions to them, and while they were getting themselves ready as fast as they could, I sent them on this errand the third day after they had been assembled: I also sent five hundred armed men with them [as a guard]. I then wrote to my friends in Samaria, to take care that they might safely pass through the country: for Samaria was already under the Romans, and it was absolutely necessary for those that go quickly [to Jerusalem] to pass through that country; for in that road you may, in three days’ time, go from Galilee to Jerusalem. I also went myself, and conducted the old men as far as the bounds of Galilee, and set guards in the roads, that it might not be easily known by any one that these men were gone. And when I had thus done, I went and abode at Japha.
53. Now Jonathan and his colleagues, having failed of accomplishing what they would have done against me, sent John back to Gischala, but went themselves to the city of Tiberias, expecting it would submit itself to them; and this was founded on a letter which Jesus, their then governor, had written them, promising that, if they came, the multitude would receive them, and choose to be under their government; so they went their ways with this expectation. But Silas, who, as I said, had been left curator of Tiberias by me, informed me of this, and desired me to make haste thither. Accordingly, I complied with his advice immediately, and came thither; but found myself in danger of my life, from the following occasion: Jonathan and his colleagues had been at Tiberias, and had persuaded a great many of such as had a quarrel with me to desert me; but when they heard of my coming, they were in fear for themselves, and came to me; and when they had saluted me, they said, that I was a happy man in having behaved myself so well in the government of Galilee; and they congratulated me upon the honors that were paid me: for they said that my glory was a credit to them, since they had been my teachers and fellow citizens; and they said further, that it was but just that they should prefer my friendship to them rather than John’s, and that they would have immediately gone home, but that they staid that they might deliver up John into my power; and when they said this they took their oaths of it, and those such as are most tremendous amongst us, and such as I did not think fit to disbelieve. However, they desired me to lodge some where else, because the next day was the sabbath, and that it was not fit the city of Tiberias should be disturbed [on that day].
54. So I suspected nothing, and went away to Tarichese; yet did I withal leave some to make inquiry in the city how matters went, and whether any thing was said about me: I also set many persons all the way that led from Tarichese to Tiberias, that they might communicate from one to another, if they learned any news from those that were left in the city. On the next day, therefore, they all came into the Proseucha; (22) it was a large edifice, and capable of receiving a great number of people; thither Jonathan went in, and though he durst not openly speak of a revolt, yet did he say that their city stood in need of a better governor than it then had. But Jesus, who was the ruler, made no scruple to speak out, and said openly,” O fellow citizens! it is better for you to be in subjection to four than to one; and those such as are of high birth, and not without reputation for their wisdom;” and pointed to Jonathan and his colleagues. Upon his saying this, Justus came in and commended him for what he had said, and persuaded some of the people to be of his mind also. But the multitude were not pleased with what was said, and had certainly gone into a tumult, unless the sixth hour, which was now come, had dissolved the assembly, at which hour our laws require us to go to dinner on sabbath days; so Jonathan and his colleagues put off their council till the next day, and went off without success. When I was informed of these affairs, I determined to go to the city of Tiberias in the morning. Accordingly, on the next day, about the first hour of the day, I came from Tarichee, and found the multitude already assembled in the Proseucha; but on what account they were gotten together, those that were assembled did not know. But when Jonathan and his colleagues saw me there unexpectedly, they were in disorder; after which they raised a report of their own contrivance, that Roman horsemen were seen at a place called Union, in the borders of Galilee, thirty furlongs distant from the city. Upon which report, Jonathan and his colleagues cunningly exhorted me not to neglect this matter, nor to suffer the land to be spoiled by the enemy. And this they said with a design to remove me out of the city, under the pretense of the want of extraordinary assistance, while they might dispose the city to be my enemy.
55. As for myself, although I knew of their design, yet did I comply with what they proposed, lest the people of Tiberias should have occasion to suppose that I was not careful of their security. I therefore went out; but, when I was at the place, I found not the least footsteps of any enemy, so I returned as fast as ever I could, and found the whole council assembled, and the body of the people gotten together, and Jonathan and his colleagues bringing vehement accusations against me, as one who had no concern to ease them of the burdens of war, and as one that lived luxuriously. And as they were discoursing thus, they produced four letters, as written to them from some people that lived at the borders of Galilee, imploring that they would come to their assistance, for that there was an army of Romans, both horsemen and footmen, who would come and lay waste the country on the third day; they desired them also to make haste, and not to overlook them. When the people of Tiberias heard this, they thought they spake truth, and made a clamor against me, and said I ought not to sit still, but to go away to the assistance of their countrymen. Hereupon I said (for I understood the meaning of Jonathan and his colleagues) that I was ready to comply with what they proposed, and without delay to march to the war which they spake of, yet did I advise them, at the same time, that since these letters declared that the Romans would make their assault in four several places, they should part their forces into five bodies, and make Jonathan and his colleagues generals of each body of them, because it was fit for brave men, not only to give counsel, but to take the place of leaders, and assist their countrymen when such a necessity pressed them; for, said I, it is not possible for me to lead more than one party. This advice of mine greatly pleased the multitude; so they compelled them to go forth to the war. But their designs were put into very much disorder, because they had not done what they had designed to do, on account of my stratagem, which was opposite to their undertakings.
56. Now there was one whose name was Ananias (a wicked man he was, and very mischievous); he proposed that a general religious fast (23) should be appointed the next day for all the people, and gave order that at the same hour they should come to the same place, without any weapons, to make it manifest before God, that while they obtained his assistance, they thought all these weapons useless. This he said, not out of piety, but that they might catch me and my friends unarmed. Now, I was hereupon forced to comply, lest I should appear to despise a proposal that tended to piety. As soon, therefore, as we were gone home, Jonathan and his colleagues wrote to John to come to them in the morning, and desiring him to come with as many soldiers as he possibly could, for that they should then be able easily to get me into their hands, and to do all they desired to do. When John had received this letter, he resolved to comply with it. As for myself, on the next day, I ordered two of the guards of my body, whom I esteemed the most courageous and most faithful, to hide daggers under their garments, and to go along with me, that we might defend ourselves, if any attack should be made upon us by our enemies. I also myself took my breastplate, and girded on my sword, so that it might be, as far as it was possible, concealed, and came into the Proseucha.
57. Now Jesus, who was the ruler, commanded that they should exclude all that came with me, for he kept the door himself, and suffered none but his friends to go in. And while we were engaged in the duties of the day, and had betaken ourselves to our prayers, Jesus got up, and inquired of me what was become of the vessels that were taken out of the king’s palace, when it was burnt down [and] of that uncoined silver; and in whose possession they now were? This he said, in order to drive away time till John should come. I said that Capellus, and the ten principal men of Tiberias, had them all; and I told him that they might ask them whether I told a lie or not. And when they said they had them, he asked me, What is become of those twenty pieces of gold which thou didst receive upon the sale of a certain weight of uncoined money? I replied, that I had given them to those ambassadors of theirs, as a maintenance for them, when they were sent by them to Jerusalem. So Jonathan and his colleagues said that I had not done well to pay the ambassadors out of the public money. And when the multitude were very angry at them for this, for they perceived the wickednes of the men, I understood that a tumult was going to arise; and being desirous to provoke the people to a greater rage against the men, I said, ”But if I have not done well in paying our ambassadors out of the public stock, leave off your anger at me, for I will repay the twenty pieces of gold myself.”
58. When I had said this, Jonathan and his colleagues held their peace; but the people were still more irritated against them, upon their openly showing their unjust ill-will to me. When Jesus saw this change in file people, he ordered them to depart, but desired the senate to stay; for that they could not examine things of such a nature in a tumult: and as the people were crying out that they would not leave me alone, there came one and told Jesus and his friends privately, that John and his armed men were at hand: whereupon Jonathan and his colleagues, being able to contain themselves no longer, (and perhaps the providence of God hereby procuring my deliverance, for had not this been so, I had certainly been destroyed by John,) said, ”O you people of Tiberias! leave off this inquiry about the twenty pieces of gold; for Josephus hath not deserved to die for them; but he hath deserved it by his desire of tyrannizing, and by cheating the multitude of the Galileans with his speeches, in order to gain the dominion over them.” When he had said this, they presently laid hands upon me, and endeavored to kill me: but as soon as those that were with me saw what they did, they drew their swords, and threatened to smite them, if they offered any violence to me. The people also took up stones, and were about to throw them at Jonathan; and so they snatched me from the violence of my enemies.
59. But as I was gone out a little way, I was just upon meeting John, who was marching with his armed men. So I was afraid of him, and turned aside, and escaped by a narrow passage to the lake, and seized on a ship, and embarked in it, and sailed over to Tarichese. So, beyond my expectation, I escaped this danger. Whereupon I presently sent for the chief of the Galileans, and told them after what manner, against all faith given, I had been very near to destruction from Jonathan and his colleagues, and the people of Tiberias. Upon which the multitude of the Galileans were very. angry, and encouraged me to delay no longer to make war upon them, but to permit them to go against John, and utterly to destroy him, as well as Jonathan and his colleagues. However, I restrained them, though they were in such a rage, and desired them to tarry a while, till we should be informed what orders those ambassadors, that were sent by them to the city of Jerusalem, should bring thence; for I told them that it was best for them to act according to their determination; whereupon they were prevailed on. At which time, also, John, when the snares he had laid did not take effect, returned back to Gischala.
60. Now, in a few days, those ambassadors whom he had sent, came back again and informed us, that the people were greatly provoked at Ananus, and Simon the son of Gamaliel, and their friends; that, without any public determination, they had sent to Galilee, and had done their endeavors that I might be turned out of the government. The ambassadors said further, that the people were ready to burn their houses. They also brought letters, whereby the chief men of Jerusalem, at the earnest petition of the people, confirmed me in the government of Galilee, and enjoined Jonathan and his colleagues to return home quickly. When I had gotten these letters, I came to the village Arbela, where I procured an assembly of the Galileans to meet, and bid the ambassadors declare to them the anger of the people of Jerusalem at what had been done by Jonathan and his colleagues, and how much they hated their wicked doings, and how they had confirmed me in the government of their country, as also what related to the order they had in writing for Jonathan and his colleagues to return home. So I immediately sent them the letter, and bid him that carried it to inquire, as well as he could, how they intended to act [on this occasion.]
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